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A Life Cut Short

Luck is something that truly exists in this world. Regardless of how hard someone works, luck inevitably plays a crucial role in their success. A man can work his ass off through college and university and still end up working as a peon, or a man can cruise through easy courses and end up with a lucky internship in a mega-corporation from the get-go.

In many ways, luck can make or break someone's future.

Guy Larks was a special case. He was born with heavenly fortune - to a family with wealth oozing out of their pores - and that too in the most favourable position, as the youngest of three siblings. His eldest brother - now 30 years old- would inevitably inherit the Larks family's multi-billion dollar business, and the middle sister - now 27 years old- was successful in the art business and had a growing entertainment corporation. His parents did not have any expectations from him, and he was free to live a prodigal life as an 18-year-old.

But Guy Larks didn't. Even with all the wealth, his parents lived a traditional life. From a young age, the siblings were brought up personally by their parents and grandparents. This in turn inculcated strict morals in the three kids. His eldest brother remained chaste until his marriage at the age of 27, and his sister was still in a long-running relationship with her college girlfriend, now turned business partner.

Although Guy was never under any pressure from his family to achieve anything, he still wanted to make some impact in society. And thus as soon as he graduated from high school, he started travelling the world doing charitable work in third-world countries and regions of conflict. Initially, his travel had a selfish motive to bring his family into the spotlight. But as he saw the struggles of the folk he met through his travels, his psyche started to change. He truly wanted to help them.

At the age of 20, Guy enrolled into the top university in the field of teaching and pedagogy and worked himself to the bone to finally gain a complete Master's degree within 4 years. Following that, he started to revisit the places he went to before and started to improve the logistics in the impoverished nations. Building wells, better sanitation, sustainable housing, and finally better educational facility.

With that he started to go around the world teaching in different places, meeting kids from all walks of life. Over time he realised that teaching was his greatest passion, something he wished to pursue for the rest of his life.

Guy Larks had accumulated a lot of good karma in his life.

But surprisingly, at the age of 30, the still single Guy Larks found out that he had cancer. It would have been fine if it was a cancer of a single organ. Since with all of the family's wealth, treatment would have been a piece of cake. However, Guy had cancer of the lungs, liver and breast.

For someone who had never indulged in any vices, this was a massive blow. What of all the good deed he'd done in his lifetime? The poor guy was also about to die a virgin!

Guy was a little enraged about it. While he wasn't religious, he still started to curse all the gods and goddesses from various pantheons for the misfortune 'blessed' upon him. But as time passed he started to come to terms with his illnesses and decided that death was the less painful option as opposed to undergoing a battery of toxic treatments.

Guy would have died as a baleful spirit, if not for what happened as he lay in his death bed. In his final two years, all the kids and teens he'd helped over his charitable travels came over to offer their prayers and love. With every child he met, Guy finally realised the amount of impact he made in this world. His greatest fear, that his life would be wasted, was alleviated.

And so with his dying breath, Guy's last words weren't a string of curses on the unfairness of the world, but the following: "I wish I could continue teaching…"

At the age of 33, Guy Larks died.

____

(What a wonderful life. You should see what the others, who were in your exact position, did in their lifetime.)

'Wait! I didn't die?'

Guy found his consciousness in an endless void. He looked down and found that he was just a disembodied wisp.

(You did. What you're seeing is your soul.)

'What's happening to me? Is reincarnation real? Is this purgatory? Wait! is religion real?

(Woah! Woah! Chill! Let me introduce myself. My name is &#%@*.)

'Huh?'

(Oh right! You can call me Mast. My name has multiple dimensions to it, for beings such as yourself, it will only sound like gibberish. You're the first human I'm talking to, so I sort of forgot.)

A burst of mirthful laughter resonated across the void.

'Why am I here Mr. Mast?'

(No need to be so polite with me. Your predicament was partially my fault, so I don't deserve your respect.) Mast spoke with a crestfallen tone.

'Your fault?'

(Well you see, what you did was a little special. With all the good work that you did, you unknowingly disseminated your abundant good luck and absorbed all the bad luck of the people you interacted with.)

'You can do that?'

(It's a statistic in my world you see. Usually, when people do charity work, there is usually a middle-man who is somewhat disconnected from the charity work. This way while good luck is disseminated, it is not absorbed by the donating party. Moreover, not many people of massive fortune tend to get so personally ingrained into their charity work. The work that you did personally, and the scale of it, was truly massive.)

'Wait does that mean doing charity work is bad?'

(Well not technically. Doing charity work is the best way to disseminate good luck, so the more people do it the better. You on the other hand did it all personally - that's the keyword - compared to others. And the level of work you did was well beyond the scale of other charitable organisations on Earth.)

Guy nodded, causing the wisp to bob in place. At the end of his life, he read a few news articles that ran a complicated algorithmic analysis that qualitatively assessed the impact of the various charitable organisations. And his name was miles ahead of others.

As he absorbed all the information, Guy started to laugh self-deprecatingly. All the good work that he did caused his death. How ironic…

(Now, now. Since it was my fault that you died, and since you brought to light a significant oversight in my world's programming, I would like to offer you some form of compensation.)

'Compensation?'

(Yes. I'm going to offer you a second opportunity.)

'Awesome! I can be with my family again!'

(Not really. I can't send you back into my world. I'm not allowed to do that. I am what you call a world builder. The stability of the world I tend to will determine whether I live or not. The world you're from is one that I made. As a builder all I'm allowed to do is make minor changes to the laws of the worlds, micromanaging can lead to significant deviations.)

'Then how will I get a second opportunity?'

A devious chuckle reverberated throughout the void. (You see, my elder brother just started a new world. His first world is pretty stable so he technically has a backup. You get what I'm saying?)

'You want to mess up his new world?'

(No! I'm just "contributing" by doing what you people call beta-testing his new world.) Mast chuckled.

'Hmm. Whatever you say…' Guy replied sarcastically.

(Anyway, here's the plan. I'm going to transplant your soul into another compatible body in his world. How does that sound?)

'Well, it sucks that I won't get to meet my parents. But what you suggested does sound fun.' The still virgin Guy's mind wandered into some special places as he finished that thought.

(Yes. I know how you humans like to perform acts of procreation for pleasure.)

Guy's wispy body turned a vibrant shade of red.

(So what do you say? Wanna do it?)

Guy pondered on it for a while. Although at the end he felt that his life was fulfilling, when he thought back to it, there were a lot of things he wanted to accomplish that he never got the opportunity to do. Since Mast was offering an opportunity for a second chance, Guy felt that there was no loss. He already lived one life. Since he was getting a second one as a freebie, he wouldn't mind.

So without hesitating any longer, Guy affirmed. 'Sure. I want that second chance.'

(Wonderful!)

.

.

.

'Hello?'

(Wait! I'm searching for a spot where my brother isn't paying attention.)

'OK.'

.

.

.

'Umm. Is there anything I can do here? I'm a little -'

WHOOSH


CREATORS' THOUGHTS
Junior_Sundar Junior_Sundar

Word Count: 1506

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